World

Israel announces purchase of additional next-generation, US-made F-35 fighter jets

  • FILE - This undated file photo provided by Northrop Grumman Corp., shows a pre-production model of a F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Israel's defense ministry said Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, that it will purchase 14 next-generation F-35 fighter jets for approximately $3 billion adding to the fleet of 19 U.S-made jets it already purchased in 2010. Israel plans for the stealth jet to replace its fleet of F-16 warplanes and maintain its aerial dominance in the region. (AP Photo/Northrop Grumman, File) NO SALES

    FILE - This undated file photo provided by Northrop Grumman Corp., shows a pre-production model of a F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Israel's defense ministry said Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, that it will purchase 14 next-generation F-35 fighter jets for approximately $3 billion adding to the fleet of 19 U.S-made jets it already purchased in 2010. Israel plans for the stealth jet to replace its fleet of F-16 warplanes and maintain its aerial dominance in the region. (AP Photo/Northrop Grumman, File) NO SALES  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this July 7, 2006 file photo, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is shown after it was unveiled in a ceremony in Fort Worth, Texas.  Israel's defense ministry said Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, that it will purchase 14 next-generation F-35 fighter jets for approximately $3 billion adding to the fleet of 19 U.S-made jets it already purchased in 2010. Israel plans for the stealth jet to replace its fleet of F-16 warplanes and maintain its aerial dominance in the region.  (AP Photo/LM Ottero, File)

    FILE - In this July 7, 2006 file photo, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is shown after it was unveiled in a ceremony in Fort Worth, Texas. Israel's defense ministry said Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, that it will purchase 14 next-generation F-35 fighter jets for approximately $3 billion adding to the fleet of 19 U.S-made jets it already purchased in 2010. Israel plans for the stealth jet to replace its fleet of F-16 warplanes and maintain its aerial dominance in the region. (AP Photo/LM Ottero, File)  (The Associated Press)

Israel says it will purchase 14 additional next-generation F-35 fighter jets for approximately $3 billion.

Israel's defense ministry said Sunday the deal adds to the fleet of 19 U.S-made jets it already purchased in 2010. The recent signing with Lockheed Martin Corp. includes an option for 17 more in the future. The first such planes are to arrive in Israel in late 2016.

The F-35 is the Pentagon's most expensive weapons program, with an estimated cost of nearly $400 billion. The program aims to replace a wide range of existing aircraft for the U.S. and several partner countries.

Israel plans for the stealth jet, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, to replace its fleet of F-16 warplanes and maintain its aerial dominance in the region.